Can Google Find You? SEO Basics
Let’s face it, we can take up an entire afternoon with all of the facts and best practices that go into SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. At its very core, SEO for a website means that Google can find you online. SEO takes into account your keywords and location to determine how your website’s content is relevant to a person’s search on Google and other search engines. The algorithms are complex we can never really know every single element that goes into how you appear on Google Search (the big cheese of search engines in the U.S. and the world). We do, however, know a few basics that can give you a solid foundation!
Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?
Google will NOT rank your website well if it doesn’t read on mobile devices, so what does it mean to truly be Mobile Friendly?
YOUR WEBSITE HAS A MOBILE VERSION Your website has a separate version that kicks in when someone is using a cell phone. Often these websites have a ‘view desktop version’ on their pages to offer your optional viewing experience. This can have a drawback, some of these websites have simplified versions of your original content and often your visitors won’t be able to access all of the information on your site. It can also make things harder to read because a visitor that chooses to view a desktop version on their phone will have to zoom in to read the copy that isn’t designed to re-size on its own.
RESPONSIVE WEBSITE DESIGN Your website automatically resizes, no matter the screen size. You can test this by resizing your window on your desktop. If the content automatically moves around and readjusts without changing the size of your font, then you likely have a responsive site! The good news about this is that you only have to adjust content to one website, however, the design isn’t as exact as other versions so you may lose a bit of control for certain elements.
SSL Certificate, http vs. https
Did you know that your website won’t rank well if you don’t have a secure site? Check your URL, or website address to see if it has the HTTPS, this distinction means that your visitors’ information is safe a secure while they visit your website. It also makes your website more accessible, some browsers settings won’t allow entry into websites that are not secure.
NAP, Name Address Phone Number
Make sure your Business Name, Business Address and Phone Number are exactly the same across all of your online listings! Google uses this to rank your website, if you have a different name, (i.e. ‘My Business’ vs. ‘My Business, Inc’) you will receive a lower ranking on your website. Local listings include but are not limited to: Facebook, Google Maps, Google My Business (Yes, there’s a difference), Yelp, etc.
URL & Website Copy
OPTIMIZED URL Your page URLs or website address matters to Google! Google uses your page names and the keywords within your page’s address to determine if your content fits a person’s search.
For example, let’s examine a page about a dog grooming services page for Fidosmells.com
WEBSITE COPY also helps Google determine if your page is relevant so using Titles/Headers and Keywords that are relevant AND match your page URL is optimal for ranking well.
For example, let’s continue to examine Fido Smells’ services page:
[title of page/main header] Dog Grooming Services
[sample copy] Our dog groom services for your pet includes ….
LOCATION IS EVERYTHING! Google KNOWS where people are searching from! Adding keywords and address info on your website can help Google rank you properly for local searches.
Back to our friends, Fido Smells’ services page:
[title of page/main header]Dog Grooming Services
[sample copy] We have been providing dog groom services in Chicago since…
You can see how this example leverages keywords plus geo-location. This is the beginning of a fully optimized website page!
EXPERT LEVEL SEO
There are special areas of information that Google will read called META TAGS. We LOVE meta tags, as they allow us to control how your page appears in Google search results. You may or may not have access to this on your website, but if you do you can add keywords to fully optimize your page! To go into these in depth would require an entire workshop! Here are just a few of the more important tags and how they appear in search:
And there are many more! You can see how optimizing your website can take on a full-time role in your business life. However, it’s important to know that you can do some very simple things whenever you add content to ensure that you always have a solid foundation and that Google knows you exist!
There are a few other items that we can discuss with Website Design and Search Engine Optimization. If you are interested in exploring more here are a few points to consider…
Can People Interact Easily within your Site and Find What They need right away?
When they are inside your website, are you resonating with them?
Are you capturing the audience and turning them into customers?
Don’t worry, if you have any questions on optimizing your website or if you would like to explore further you can contact me (I love to geek out on Website Design and Search Engine Optimization). Call 773-626-3389 or send me a message.
Content provided by Women Belong member Maribel Lopez